The Gympie Country Music Muster has to be experienced to be understood. This year started about a week before live music began echoing around the Amamoor Valley with the annual call from our friend, Sue McMah. She instructed Sean and me to turn up to Swill Hill with dogs and ATV, she would bring the sheep. Swill Hill is one of the more lavish camping facilities frequented by a group of long-term revelers.
Our mission was to attract attention and to hand out brochures for a pre-muster function in Gympie. Apart from destroying one fiery tempered young retiree’s coax cable linking his over sized caravan to his over sized satellite dish all went well.
Photo: Renee Pilcher Gympie Times.
The Muster is a fantastic charity fundraiser and as such is run and worked by an army of mostly local volunteer helpers. http://www.muster.com.au/ Sean was selected for his skill, as a groupie, to find and encourage the “talent” to travel with him in a KIA Carnival. A massive job and one which he failed on some occasions, notably, the Sunny Cowgirls elected to walk the 1.5 Kms, in heals, rather than join the Carnival.
Susannah and I turned our attention to catering and assisted the Gympie Rotary Club to provide gourmet food to the Blues Tent patrons and a couple of private functions. I got off to a rocky start with a bit of pressure from Lyn about my interpretation of carrots julienne. She’s got to realise that we chefs are a temperamental lot. Everyone knows that..
After our shift we settled into the blues tent, caught up with good friends, kept out of the ever heavier rain and dodged the new streams forming inside the venue. We were thoroughly entertained by Blue Shaddy. Cole Bishop says: “… with the unique mix of world drumming and percussion, groove laden bass, acoustic and lap-slide guitars, rhythmic harmonica and heartfelt vocals and the result is a true reflection of the exciting Blue Shaddy sound.” Next we were flabbergasted by the enigmatic, entrancing stage act by Johnny Wishbone and the Snowdroppers. Susannah is now officially a fan.
Sue McMah reckoned we had time to crash the VIP tent before Eugene Hideaway Bridges fired up his 1967 GIBSON S-330 guitar. So we followed her between dongas and through locked gates into the bowels of backstage. Aren’t you just awestruck? At least the VIP tent sported a waterproof floor.
Unbeknown to us there lurked the VIP Nazi, who, after a couple of hours, realized we weren’t sporting the correct VIP Tent official pass and attempted to evict us. With a name that sounded to me like Ricki-Lee she should focus less on false Idols. Long story short, she failed and we VIPed for another hour before returning to learn from Eugene Hideaway Bridges just why we white folk shouldn’t try to play guitar, sing or even hum.